Normally, we blog about our programs or our natural resources. Sometimes, we do blogs about our partnerships or volunteers. Rarely, we write about our people. At Virginia State Parks, our people make us great but too often we only think of these people in the work environment.
Virginia State Parks employees are among the most talented people in Virginia. Sure, they are good at the job but what do they do outside of work? I think the talent of our staff is worth sharing.
Ryan Blevins works at Hungry Mother State Park
I want to introduce you to Ryan Blevins. Ryan can be found repairing roofs, tiling floors, or mowing the grass at Hungry Mother State Park. Ryan has been a park ranger at the park since 2000. When he started, he was a teenager needing a summer job. Now, he works all year at the park as a vital part of the staff. But when he is not working, you can find Ryan playing the banjo or mandolin.
Bluegrass music is part of our Appalachian culture. Throughout history, families would share time together by playing music. Ryan’s family was no different. His father played a guitar and shared that love with Ryan. But as most children, he wanted to do his own thing. At the age of 7, Ryan began banjo lessons. Then he taught himself to play the mandolin!! True to tradition, he began playing with his dad and family friend, Tim Lundy (who, by the way, is now also a park ranger at Hungry Mother).